Blind Kirkby widow falls victim to cuts

NMAC11-0804-1''Ivan Braddow and his mother Edith pictured outside their Kirkby home
NMAC11-0804-1''Ivan Braddow and his mother Edith pictured outside their Kirkby home

THE son of a Kirkby widow has slammed a decision by health officials to force his mother to bring in used incontinence pads to prove her eligibility for prescription pads.

Edith Braddow’s (77), who is registered blind, had been receiving a prescription for incontinence pads for the past three years - but following a consultation at Ashfield Health Village she was told she had to bring in soiled pads.

Her son, Ivan Braddow, who is a full-time carer for his mother, said: “My mum was told to bring in the used incontinence pads in a plastic bag. We weren’t told why - we thought it was disgusting.”

The 52-year-old added that when they did bring the pads in, they were told that she could no longer receive them on a prescription ‘due to the cuts’.

Without the pads, Mrs Braddow, who is a former factory supervisor, is afraid to go out the house.

“We had just managed to get a wheelchair for her and I had wanted to start getting her out, even if it was just in to town.

“There are a lot of things they could cut back on. My mum is afraid to go to bed at night because she is afraid of having an accident.”

Furious Mr Braddow says his mother is just one of a number of elderly people affected by the issue.

“A lot of people don’t like talking about it - it is a very private thing.

“I am not just doing this for my mother’s sake but for other people.

He added: “It is difficult enough to be able to broach in the first place without having to jump through all these hoops.”

Mr Braddow was so angry about the situation that he contacted Ashfield MP Gloria de Piero.

She said: “I am pleased we have been able to bring this scandalous situation to national attention. I was truly shocked when Edith Braddow’s family contacted me - the first of several distressed patients to ask me to stand up for them.

“Incontinence can be an upsetting condition in itself and sufferers need sensitivity and care - not crass penny pinching.

“Everyone is entitled to their dignity and I will continue to press the Health Service to end this humiliating practice and restore the dignity these older Ashfield folk deserve.”

As a carer for his mother, Mr Braddow also has to measure the amount of urine she produces before she attends the clinic.

He said: “It is degrading enough to have to measure out and then put all the results on a chart.”

A spokeswoman from Nottinghamshire Community Health (NCH) said: “A review of the continence service took place during 2010 and changes made have been to ensure patients receive optimum clinical care.

The aim of the continence service is always to return patients to continence wherever possible. Pads are only prescribed for those patients with moderate to severe incontinence.

“All patients presenting with continence issues are offered a comprehensive clinical assessment, which includes reviewing existing pads to ensure adequate absorbency and comfort to the patient, as defined by National Good Practice, followed by a clear treatment plan. This is followed up by an agreed review date.

“If any patient is unhappy with any aspect of the continence service provided by NCH we are more than happy to address individual concerns.”

Mrs Braddow’s next review will be on 7th April.